Nyheter - 13th July 2017
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Walkers are welcome too!

anne-marie

There’s been a recent change in the naming of role of what has previously been known as the ‘Tail Runner’ – the role for the volunteer who accompanies the last person on the course, to ensure that no-one finishes ‘last’ and that this person always has company on the way around the parkrun. It’s an ambition for parkrun that we always fill this volunteer role, and we’re pleased to say that we’ve managed to do this on almost every occasion here in Sweden too.
 
But as we remind everyone every week at the pre-run briefing, parkrun is for everyone, and it doesn’t matter if you run, jog, or walk – everyone is welcome to take part in parkrun. parkrun have done research that demonstrates that one of the biggest barriers to participation is that people still think that they won’t be ‘fast’ enough and that there is a fear that they will be left behind. Perception is very important, and by calling the role ‘Tail Runner’, it was felt that this could reinforce the impression that you needed to be a runner to take part in parkrun.
 
It may be just a small semantic change, but by naming the role ‘Tail Walker, this reminds everyone that all are welcome at parkrun and that people’s goals – to be a fitter, happier, healthier self – may take many forms! Here’s a great story from a parkrunner in the UK Anne-Marie Mortimer, about her journey to being healthier and how walking at parkrun was an important part of that. (Anne-Marie is picture in January 2016 below, and in June 2017 in the picture at the head of the article here)
 
anne-marie 2
 
“There’s been a lot of talk about walkers recently and I just wanted to share these pics to show how walking at parkrun changed my life. I first walked in Jan 2016 and it took me 1 hour 1 minute and 57 seconds! It threw it down with rain but tears ran down my face from all the support and encouragement I got from all the wonderful people at Oakwell Hall parkrun. Over the last 18 months I have lost approximately 35 kg and can now run parkrun in 40.08! I have joined a running club and tomorrow I’m running my first 10km. Today I celebrated my 50th parkrun with all my lovely new friends and I wanted to be the tail walker as that is how I started. A large group of my friends walked with me and we had a fab time. It is people like me who wouldn’t join in without a bit of encouragement”.

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